Filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj will be the showrunner and executive producer of Netflix’s Midnight’s Children, the streaming platform announced on Wednesday. The series is an adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name.
“The scope and scale of Midnight’s Children can only be translated by a creator with an expansive vision, depth of storytelling, and a nuanced knowledge of bringing characters to life,” Simran Sethi, the director-creative of International Originals for Netflix, said in a press statement.
Also a screenwriter, producer and music composer, Bhardwaj has several critically acclaimed adaptations to his credit including the films Maqbool (2003), Omkara (2006) and Haider (2014), loosely based on William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Othello and Hamlet respectively. Bhardwaj’s last film was Pataakha (2018), an adaptation of Charan Singh Pathik’s short story Do Behnein.
On the Midnight’s Children adaptation, Bharadwaj said, “I’m confident that taking this quintessentially Indian epic that transcends generations and genres, combined with the production values and creative freedom that Netflix offers, will contribute to an unforgettable series that is Indian at heart and global in reach.” Details of the cast or the release date are yet to be revealed.
Originally published in 1981, Midnight’s Children centres on the life of Saleem Sinai, who is born at 12 am on August 15, 1947, the very moment that India is declared independent from British rule. Sinai’s life mirrors and influences that of India’s and he also has telepathic powers that link him to India’s 1,000 other “midnight’s children,” all born in that fateful hour.
The novel won the Booker Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1981. It also won the Booker of Bookers in 1993 and Best of the Booker prize in 2008.
In 2012, it was adapted into a film by Deepa Mehta. There was also a stage adaptation by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2013 and a seven-part audio series by BBC Radio Four in 2017.